How to pump up your biceps with pull-ups on the horizontal bar

Pull-ups on the bar are the most common exercise not only for developing a broad back, but also biceps. In addition, this is the most affordable training option, since there is a crossbar in every yard, and hanging a horizontal bar at home is also not difficult. Pull-ups for biceps and back should definitely be present in the training complexes of both experienced athletes and beginners.

Is it possible to pump up your biceps with pull-ups?

First of all, you need to study the anatomy of the exercise. Wide grip pull-ups The latissimus dorsi muscles, the teres major muscle contract, and the rhomboid and lower trapezius muscles are activated when the shoulder blades are brought together at the top point. It also works the biceps, brachioradialis and brachialis muscles, which help perform pull-ups.

Although the biceps perform its functions, this exercise develops the back to a greater extent, and the difference in grip corrects the development of the latissimus muscles in width or thickness. But there are also subtleties in pull-ups with a narrow reverse grip. When doing a bicep pull-up you don’t have to bring your shoulder blades close to each other and don’t aim your sternum at the bar, in which case the biceps will be more involved in the work.

Precautionary measures! An important condition for any grip option is the position of the elbows at the lowest point. Do not fully extend the joints, as full extension with frequent loads can injure the joint.

The peculiarity of pull-ups is that the shape of the muscles directly depends on the position of the torso.

  • If you pull yourself up to your chin, body perpendicular to the floor then the width of the back will develop, in other words, “wings”.
  • If you stretch the center of the chest to the bar, bringing the elbows back behind the back thickness of the back will be formed to a greater extent.

These exercise options do not particularly affect the shape of the biceps.

Wide-grip pull-up technique to engage the biceps

Vary your chest or chin pull-up technique depending on your goals. Perform pull-ups until the muscles are completely tired; for muscle growth, it is recommended to work in the 4×12.

  1. Grasp the horizontal bar with a wide grip, placing your palms in a regular overhand grip.
  2. Exhale: bending your elbows, pull your chin towards the bar, squeezing your shoulder blades at the top point. Keep your legs bent at the knee.
  3. Inhale: slowly lower yourself without fully extending your elbows.

Wide-grip chest pull-ups

Option for pumping up biceps on the horizontal bar No. 2 – pulling the back of the head to the bar

  1. Place your palms with a wide grip on the bar.
  2. Exhale: bending your elbows, moving them slightly back behind your back, pull yourself up so that the back of your head touches the bar.
  3. Inhale: lower your torso smoothly, without jerking.

Also, repeat in the mode 4×12avoid too many repetitions.

Wide grip head pull-ups

Reverse grip biceps pull-ups

This exercise technique is Great for working the biceps brachii the latissimus remain the main muscles.

This is the technique that should be included on biceps and forearm training days.
  1. Grasp the bar with an underhand grip, shoulder-width apart.
  2. Exhale: Contract the muscles of your back and arms, pull your chin towards the bar, and bring your shoulder blades together, additionally engaging the lower trapezius and rhomboid muscles.
  3. Inhale: slowly lower yourself, keeping your elbows bent.

Work 4 sets of 8–12 reps.
Bicep pull-ups technique


It should be noted that in many modern gyms, there is a special block simulator for pull-ups with a “Gravitron” counterweight. For newbies For both men and women who cannot do pull-ups with their own weight, the machine will be an excellent assistant in mastering the technique of pull-ups. Gradually, the load can be increased by setting the required number of counterweight blocks that push the body.

Pumping up your biceps on the horizontal bar is not the most convenient thing, unlike working comfortably in exercise machines. The technique requires strong hands, that is, a tenacious grip, and strong forearms, so many find it difficult to keep their palms on the bar for the required amount of time. That’s why use special loops for brushes. By putting a loop on your hand and tying it around the bar, you can significantly ease the fate of your hands, extending the time for working on the muscles.

If doing pull-ups with your own weight is very easy for you, wear a special belt on which you can hang additional cargo, and perform the required number of repetitions. Perhaps it will be more difficult with each approach, then you can reduce repetitions by 12, 10, 8, 8–6 times.

Pull-ups are one of the most difficult exercises for the back and arms, so start your workout with this exercise, because in the middle or end of the training, when the muscles have already worked, it will be difficult to do a pull-up and the muscles will refuse to work to their fullest.

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